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Rep. Adam Kinzinger to Local Leaders: Global Health, Foreign Assistance Critical to Fighting Pandemic, Protecting Americans

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Washington, July 24, 2020 | Maura Gillespie (2022253635) | comments
Last month, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) joined political, business, and community leaders from Illinois in a virtual town hall to discuss the importance of American global health, diplomacy, and developmental programs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Washington, DC – Last month, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) joined political, business, and community leaders from Illinois in a virtual town hall to discuss the importance of American global health, diplomacy, and developmental programs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the health and safety of all Americans—in Illinois and across the country.

“The coronavirus pandemic has created a health and economic crisis that has challenged the American way of life. Alongside my colleagues in Congress, I am committed to responding to this pandemic here in Illinois and coordinating with our allies around the world as we fight COVID-19 for the good of the global community,”  said Congressman Kinzinger (R-IL). “As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I know how vital our country’s investments in global health and diplomacy are to stopping the spread of this virus overseas, while also upholding our American values and preventing new outbreaks.” 

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC) hosted the online event on June 23, 2020—a time when policy makers continue to consider and plan out the country’s response to the pandemic at home and abroad, including resources for the State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC).

“Agricultural exports from Illinois don’t just boost the state’s economy— they feed hungry people and stimulate economic development overseas,” said Kathryn Unger, Vice President – North America Government Relations at Cargill, who also participated in the online event with Congressman Kinzinger and USGLC. “In this extraordinary moment, Cargill is working with farmers here in the U.S. and around the world to help feed families and communities safely, responsibly, and sustainably.”

International engagement by the U.S. is crucial to dealing with the pandemic, from a global health perspective as well as an economic one—an especially important matter in Illinois where over 1.5 million jobs in the state are tied to international trade and exports to foreign markets total more than $65 billion a year. 

“As a pilot in the Air National Guard and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Kinzinger speaks firsthand to why the U.S. needs all of our tools of national security – development and diplomacy, alongside defense – to meet the challenges of today’s world,” said Jason Gross, USGLC Executive Director. “And in the face of global health threats like COVID-19, he understands that our international affairs programs are critical to protecting the health and security of those in Illinois and beyond.” 

Many of the event’s online participants were members of the USGLC’s Illinois Advisory Committee, a strong and growing coalition that brings together more than 110 business, faith, non-profit, veteran, and political leaders who understand why American global leadership matters for Illinois. The full event can be found on the USGLC’s YouTube page here.

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